"House of Cards"
Season 1, Episode 21
House of Cards
Air date April 6, 1995
US viewers 35.3 M
Written by Tracey Stern
Directed by Fred Gerber
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House of Cards is the twenty-first episode of the first season of the NBC medical drama series ER. It premiered on April 6, 1995.


Deb and Carter compete furiously for procedures after Benton tells them their books are due a week earlier than previously announced. Deb commits a nearly deadly error on a patient while trying to keep up with Carter. Doug 's relationship with Diane Leeds progresses. Benton and Jackie decide to put their mother in a home. Mark is put on trial, so to speak, in the M&M conference regarding Jodi O'Brien's case. Chloe returns

NBC Description

BENTON'S MOTHER'S DAY: On Taglieri's recommendation, Benton's mother (Beah Richards) is released from the ER into a nursing home.

After a near-fatal error, Chen contemplates giving up medicine. Diane (Lisa Zane) and Ross continue their relationship.

Lewis's sister (Kathleen Wilhoite) returns, eight months pregnant and homeless.

Cast and Characters


Anthony Edwards as Dr. Mark Greene 

George Clooney as Dr. Doug Ross

Sherry Stringfield as Dr. Susan Lewis

Noah Wyle as John Carter

Julianna Margulies as Nurse Carol Hathaway

Eriq La Salle as Dr. Peter Benton


Khandi Alexander as Jackie

Yvette Freeman as Haleh Adams

Lily Mariye as Lily

Emily Wagner as Pickman

Abraham Benrubi as Jerry Markovic

Ming-Na Wen as Deb Chen

Gloria Reuben as Jeanie Boulet

Amy Aquino as Dr. Janet Coburn

Ellen Crawford as Lydia Wright

Vanessa Marquez as Wendy Goldman

Montae Russell as Zadro



  • The title of this episode is a reference to the structure one can build by balancing playing cards one against another. Metaphorically, the expression alludes to the extremely unstable and fragile nature of an arrangement or situation that puts it in danger of collapsing or failing.
  • This is the last episode Chen appears in before she returns in season 6


  1. "Nielsen Ratings - March-May 1995 " (PDF). USA Today. (May 15, 2015).